What Healthcare Travelers Really Want

At Triage, we’re always looking for ways to get to know our travelers better. After all, it’s a unique thing when you work with someone, but never actually meet face-to-face! That’s why we recently asked travelers to fill out a survey letting us know what they think about their recruiter, their assignments and more. Here’s what we learned. 

About the survey 

The survey was sent out in our Triage newsletter to current Triage travelers, as well as to travelers who were signed up to receive emails from Triage. We also shared it on all our social channels. Respondents were entered to win a $100 gift card for filling out the survey and given an extra entry if they shared the survey on their own social channels. More than a quarter of the respondents did this. 

More than 400 travelers took the survey. The vast majority of them are RNs, with radiology, laboratory, rehab therapy and cardiopulmonary pros finishing out the rest of the responses.  


We wanted to know how long our respondents had been traveling. About 47% of them were travel newbies, with less than a year under their travel belts. Nearly 5% have been living the travel lifestyle for more than 10 years. That’s a lot of miles on those travelin’ shoes.  

Travelers have unique relationships with their recruiters and 50% of travelers who took our survey reported that their Triage recruiter is their only boo. We’re so flattered that our travelers trust us so much with their careers. Another 37% work with two or three recruiters and a tiny 3% have more than six recruiters.  

Tell us what you want, what you really, really want (from your recruiter) 

Not unexpectedly, 50% of Triage travelers want honesty and transparency from their recruiters. Another 30% are looking for good communication skills. Less important is where they go, as well as what shift they work. Sounds like the recruiter makes or breaks the assignment, which makes sense to us.  survey 2

When communication breaks down, that’s when travelers report that they start looking for a new assignment. Nearly 39% of travelers say that a lack of communication is what makes them look for a new recruiter. Another 24% want to know they can trust their recruiter and when that trust fails, they’re moving on. Another 18% say that they want that personal connection—they don’t want to feel like a number.  

Those same travelers want to hear from their recruiters once in a while. More than 60% like a regular check-in and a whopping 69% want it to be by text message.  

Agency offerings 

Almost 60% of travelers said that it’s the recruiter that makes or breaks their relationship with the agency. Like your recruiter? Chances are good you’ll like your agency too. The agency reputation and a personal referral were the most important to 11% of folks, while 25% were all about those benefits, like insurance or a 401k.  

About that job 

Results were mixed when it came to the actual job. Almost a quarter like a smaller, community hospital, while 15% are all about a large hospital. A third don’t care what setting they’re in, how’s that for flexible? 

Overwhelmingly, nearly half of folks like to be city dwellers for those 13 weeks. The rest are split between suburban and rural—there truly is a fit for everyone out there.  

On the road 

While on the road, our folks are willing to go almost anywhere. A quarter ofsurvey 4 travelers want to stay within a day’s drive of home, while 15% are local travelers who like to sleep in their own bed each night. But a huge number, over 56%, are willing to go wherever they’re needed, as long as the assignment’s right.  

And where do they lay their heads each night? Over 40% want a private rental like an Airbnb. Another 23% want a short-term apartment, while 14% want to make sure they have housekeeping services with a hotel. Another group has a home away from home—7% travel with an RV. A whopping 85% of travelers don’t need help finding a place to stay, but 15% want a little bit of help from their recruiters. Luckily, our recruiters are happy to help and have a database of available housing in most areas.  

Most travelers leave their furry friends at home, but 29% of travelers bring their dog. Another 10% travel with cats, but some travelers bring along a bird, some reptiles (crested geckos and a blue tongue skink) and even a horse!  

Most also travel solo, but 23% bring along a partner. Another 13% have a friend as a travel buddy. Four percent travel with just their kiddos and another 5% bring along their whole fam. Life on the road can be more fun with a group! 

Hangin’ up those travelin’ shoes 

More than 17% of travelers said nothing could make them give up traveling, but 46% said that a lifestyle change requiring them to be home more would do it. About 30% of travelers said if their home facilities paid more, they’d go back to a staff position.  survey 3

We learned a lot of things about our travelers when they took our survey. It’s just one more way Triage works to make staffing simplified for our travelers. 

Looking for allied or travel nurse jobs? Check out our job board and connect with a recruiter today to get on the road.